In July, Erikson recognized the newest graduates of the Infant Mental Health Certificate Program and Infant Specialist Certificate Program.

Over the two-year programs, the students deepened their ability to work with children from birth through age three and their families.

They apply this to their work as early childhood educators, therapists, parent educators, child life specialists, and home visitors.

Instructor Molly Romer Witten gave the address at the recognition ceremony. After teaching in the Irving B. Harris Infant Studies Program for 15 years, Witten is leaving to focus on her writing.

She began her remarks with a reflection on the students in the program:

During these fifteen years that I’ve taught in this program. I’ve noticed that everyone has her own reasons for coming here. Some of you have known for a long time that you wanted to work with and for babies. For you, this certificate is a culmination of a long-held dream.

Some of you may have stumbled into infant development and mental health because in your work, your questions needed exploring; your clinical practice or educational practice or agency needed ‘something’ more. For you these last two years have provided many opportunities to feed your hunger for understanding and exploring the depths of your work and your passion. I hope you found the exploration satisfying, and I also hope you will stay hungry for exploration in this way for the rest of your careers.

And, yet others of you may find yourselves here today simply because someone offered you the opportunity to explore your jobs more deeply or offered you a path for job advancement. For you perhaps more than the rest of us, you may be surprised at how important these last two years have become.

Regardless of the road that brought you here in the role of student, you now move into a new role as members of thoughtful and powerful professions, infant studies and infant mental health. Welcome.